[Round-up] Japan, India Eye Stronger Textile Ties with Vietnam, Samsung Bargains on $300 Million R&D Center

Tuan Minh

17:33 21/03/2016

BizLIVE - Japan and India have looked to strengthen textile cooperation with Vietnam to take advantage of the TPP. Samsung has asked for incentives for its $300 million R&D center in Hanoi.

[Round-up] Japan, India Eye Stronger Textile Ties with Vietnam, Samsung Bargains on $300 Million R&D Center

Samsung has put forward demands for incentives for its $300 million R&D center in Hanoi. (Photo: Internet)

Japan Govt to Help Boost Textiles in Vietnam
Japan and Vietnam, at a joint committee meeting in Hanoi on Saturday, agreed to work together for the promotion of the textile industry in Vietnam, according to the Japan News.
The agreement is aimed at dealing with an expected increase in Vietnamese textile exports to the U.S. once the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement enters into force.
At the first meeting of the Joint Committee between Japan and Vietnam on Cooperation in Industry, Trade and Energy, the two countries also agreed to start an industrial policy dialogue at an early date and discuss specific measures.
Labor Productivity Critical for Growth: Minister
Improving labor productivity is now critical for Vietnam to boost gross domestic product (GDP) per capita to become an industrialized and upper-middle income nation in the next two decades, the Vietnam News Agency (VNA) cited Minister of Planning and Investment Bui Quang Vinh as saying.
To achieve a GDP growth rate of 7%-8% set in the Socio-economic Development Strategy in the 2011-2020 period, the Southeast Asian country must shift its economic growth model from extensive to intensive, and the core issue in the transition process was improving labor productivity, he added.
“Increasing labor productivity is the only way to reach a GDP per capita between $15,000 and $18,000 by 2035,” Minister Vinh said.
Vietnam, India Look to Up Textile Trade
Vietnam and India made significant progress in the textile and garment trade last year, the VNA reported, citing Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai at the third meeting of the Vietnam-India Joint Sub-commission on Trade last week.
The partnership between the two countries had expanded into multiple fields, such as textiles and garments, said India’s Secretary of Commerce from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, while noting that little progress had been made in pharmaceuticals.
Food Costs Skyrocket for Vietnamese People
Vietnamese people are spending three times as much money on food as they did in 2004, the VNA cited the General Statistics Office (GSO) as saying.
GSO statistics show that the average person’s spending on food and foodstuffs in 2015 was 5.6 million dong ($250) per year, three times the amount of 2004. This amount is expected to increase to 5.7 million dong ($254) in 2016.
GSO also said the total expense on food of Vietnamese people had risen from nearly 360 trillion dong ($16 billion) in 2010 to 520 trillion dong ($23.2 billion) in 2015. It is forecasted to reach 540 trillion dong ($24.1 billion) in 2016.
Experts Warn Vietnam of Getting Stuck in Middle Income Trap
Vietnam needs to shift from a low middle-income to higher-income nation and avoid the middle-income trap by reforming policy content, structure and organization, according to an international seminar that ended Friday in HCM City.
Dr. Pham Thi Minh Uyen from the Trade University said based on the theory of the middle-income trap of Japanese economist Kenichi Ohno, Vietnam was now stuck in a low middle-income trap.   
Without strong reform, especially if Vietnam does not resolve the issue of corruption, it will be difficult for the country to escape from the low middle-income trap, experts said.
Foreign invested enterprises (FIEs) have lent remarkable support for Vietnam to narrow trade gaps over the past five years, said Nguyen Van Giau, head of the National Assembly’s Economic Committee, at the last session of the 13th tenure on Monday.
Vietnam’s trade deficit was slashed to 1.93% of total exports in the 2011-2015 period, from 22.4% in the previous five years, thanks to the performance of FIEs, especially Samsung Electronics Vietnam (SEV).
The Vietnamese government aims to bring down the state budget deficit to 4% of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2020, from 6.1% in 2015, said Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, who has been nominated for the cabinet chief position.
In his address on the opening of the last session of the National Assembly’s 13th tenure kicked off in Hanoi on Monday, Mr. Nguyen Xuan Phuc listed major socio-economic targets for the next five years.
Samsung Electronics Vietnam (SEV) has demanded a host of incentives to develop a research and development (R&D) center in Hanoi, which could cost an estimated $300 million and be divided in three phases.
SEV plans to build a 21-storey building on a three-hectare land plot and employ 2,000 in 2016 and 4,000 in the upcoming years. With the project, SEV will develop hi-tech electric, electronic and telecommunication products.
There are around 35 million active Facebook users in Vietnam, accounting for more than one third of the Vietnamese population, making Vietnam the third largest nation in terms of Facebook users in Southeast Asia.
Total assets of banks in Vietnam touched 7,287 trillion dong ($323.87 billion) at the end of January 2016, slipping 0.44% from December 2015 but increasing 14.22% from the same month of last year, according to statistics of the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV).
State-controlled commercial banks saw their assets down 1% from the end of last year to 3,270.87 trillion dong ($146 billion) while those of joint stock commercial lenders declined 0.17% to $129.91 billion.